Soil Parameters Drive the Structure, Diversity and Metabolic Potentials of the Bacterial Communities Across Temperate Beech Forest Soil Sequences
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Soil and climatic conditions as well as land cover and land management have been shown to strongly impact the structure and diversity of the soil bacterial communities. Here, we addressed under a same land cover the potential effect of the edaphic parameters on the soil bacterial communities, excluding potential confounding factors as climate. To do this, we characterized two natural soil sequences occurring in the Montiers experimental site. Spatially distant soil samples were collected below Fagus sylvatica tree stands to assess the effect of soil sequences on the edaphic parameters, as well as the structure and diversity of the bacterial communities. Soil analyses revealed that the two soil sequences were characterized by higher pH and calcium and magnesium contents in the lower plots. Metabolic assays based on Biolog Ecoplates highlighted higher intensity and richness in usable carbon substrates in the lower plots than in the middle and upper plots, although no significant differences occurred in the abundance of bacterial and fungal communities along the soil sequences as assessed using quantitative PCR. Pyrosequencing analysis of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene amplicons revealed that Proteobacteria, Acidobacteria and Bacteroidetes were the most abundantly represented phyla. Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria and Chlamydiae were significantly enriched in the most acidic and nutrient-poor soils compared to the Bacteroidetes, which were significantly enriched in the soils presenting the higher pH and nutrient contents. Interestingly, aluminium, nitrogen, calcium, nutrient availability and pH appeared to be the best predictors of the bacterial community structures along the soil sequences.
KeywordsBacterial communities Forest soil Soil type Fagus sylvatica Nutrient availability Soil pH
This work was funded by grants from the ANDRA (Agence Nationale pour la Gestion des Déchets Radioactifs), the ANR JC ‘Bactoweather’ (ANR-11-JSV7-0001) and partly by the Laboratory of Excellence Arbre (ANR-11-LABX-0002-01; INABACT project). M. Jeanbille was a Master student supported by a fellowship from the ANDRA. We thank F. Martin, Y. Colin and E. Morin for helpful discussions, S. Didier and C. Calvaruso for technical assistance and the Office National des Forêts (ONF) for the management of the forest experimental site of Montiers. We would like to thank the reviewers for their implication in the improvement of our manuscript.
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